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Odell Beckham Jr. Rumors: Browns Could Move On from WR in 2022; Not on Trade Block

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVOctober 14, 2021

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns could reportedly move on from wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. following the 2021 NFL season.

Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported Thursday that Beckham's name hasn't popped up on the trade block ahead of the Nov. 2 deadline, but there are "signs pointing toward" the front office trading or releasing him during the offseason.

Beckham was one of the NFL's most explosive playmakers across his first three seasons with the New York Giants from 2014 through 2016. He compiled 288 catches for 4,122 yards and 35 touchdowns while earning three straight Pro Bowl selections.

He suffered a fractured ankle in 2017, and while he topped 1,000 yards with New York in 2018 and Cleveland in 2019, he's never returned to the upper echelon of receivers. Further complicating matters is a torn ACL he suffered last season.

The 28-year-old LSU product missed the first two games of the current campaign while completing his recovery from that knee injury. In three contests since his return, he's registered nine catches for 124 yards and no touchdowns.

Sunday's clash with the Los Angeles Chargers seemed like the perfect chance for a breakout game. Fellow wideout Jarvis Landry was out with injury, and Cleveland put up 42 points in a shootout with the high-powered Bolts. But OBJ finished with just two catches on three targets.

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski was asked about Beckham's lack of involvement in a game where the team ran 68 plays and totaled 531 yards of offense.

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"As I've mentioned before, he's a dynamic football player," Stefanski told reporters. "He's very front-of-mind when we are game-planning and when we are calling plays. Sometimes the defense dictates if the ball goes elsewhere, and we are comfortable with that because we have good players elsewhere."

It doesn't sound like the Browns are looking to move him before the trade deadline. They have Super Bowl-level expectations, so trading a playmaker—even one who is underperforming—for future assets would come with risk.

Beckham is under contract through 2023 as part of a five-year, $90 million deal, and Cleveland can move him without leaving any dead cap space in the offseason, which would create $15 million in savings.

Barring a significant uptick in production, the Browns may see what offers they receive for him in the offseason. A change of scenery at that point could be good for everyone involved.

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